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Lecture 9

SOCI 350 Lecture Notes - Lecture 9: Brian Massumi, Gilles Deleuze, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

2 pages48 viewsSummer 2013

Course Code
SOCI 350
Bonar Buffam

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6.19.2013 Non-Representational Theories of Affect
- Return human body and physical matter to the centre of social theory
- Sociologists/Anthropologists  have fixated too much on language and systems of
representation and not enough on moving, sensing, feeling material bodies
- Identify a stagnation in cultural theory  following Freud, Butler, Durkheim, Foucault 
solely preoccupied w/ representational processes
- Representational process  classify, codes, symbols, meaning, proxies, language 
sociologists fixated on this
Non-Representational Theorists
- Baruch Spinoza
- Henri Bergson
- Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
- Brian Massumi
- Eve Sedgwick
- Manuel Delanda
- Patricia Clough
Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677)
- Opposed Cartesian Dualism
- Spinozan Monism
- Radical Rationality
- Affects: States of the body by which the power of acting is increased or diminished,
aided or restrained
- Against DescartesWorld is composed of two mutually exclusive substances; physical
substance and mental substance
oOur existence, our humanity is derived from our capacity for conscious reflective
- Monist  thought the world was composed of singular substance
Defining Affect
- “[…] a substrate of potential bodily responses, often autonomic, in excess of
consciousness.” ~Patricia Clough
- “[…] the sensation of an anticipated encounter. The preconscious nascence of
responses to stimuli.” ~Rob Shields
- “a domain of intensity, indeterminacy and above all the potentiality, which the signifying
logic of culture reduces or ‘qualifies’. Affect is both embodied and impersonal.” ~William
A Modest Ontology
Ontology: a particular theory about the nature of being or the kinds of things that have existence
and the relations between them
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